It is estimated that the fashion industry is the second most polluting industry after oil. Because of this, I am constantly trying to make SmartSquid as sustainable as possible. SmartSquid is by no means perfect, but I choose to only use garments from certified, sustainable suppliers, and use low-impact inks for my designs. I believe that transparency in the fashion industry is key to positive change, so you can find information about the textiles and inks used below. If you have any questions with regards to sustainability at SmartSquid, or have any ideas about improving SmartSquid’s environmental footprint, please get in touch.

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Organic cotton

EarthPositive® t-shirts are used as a base for designs at SmartSquid for most styles. The cotton is grown in India on an organic cotton farm, where the entire production process is certified in accordance with the latest version of the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS).

GOTS certification means that the production of organic cotton is better regulated and standards with regards to chemical use, waste water management, water and energy use have to be met.

Organic cotton means pesticide use is better regulated than on conventional cotton farms. Pesticides can be detrimental to insects such as beetles which can have a knock-on effect for farmers and other creatures, and can even run into rivers and oceans. Pesticides can also negatively impact the health of farmers.

T-shirts are made in manufacturing facilities in India, powered by green renewable energy, from low-impact raw materials. The carbon footprint of EarthPositive® products has been reduced by 90% and the calculations have been certified under the PAS2050 standard.

EarthPositive® are part of the Fair Wear Foundation, who regularly audit their factories to check workers are being treated well. Some of the EarthPositive® garments used are part of the FairShare initiative, where garment workers are paid a direct premium for their work.  

Stanley/Stella garments are used for some long sleeved designs, these garments are made in Bangladesh using organic cotton too! Again, Stanley/Stella are members of the Fair Wear Foundation and are GOTS certified organic. You can read their most recent sustainability report if you’d like to find out more.

Organic cotton is good, but it is not the best. Cotton is a thirsty crop so although using organic cotton is better than conventionally grown cotton, SmartSquid is always looking for new materials to use for designs.

Recycled Fabrics

A few SmartSquid bags are made from recycled plastic and recycled organic cotton! They are made using a blend of pre-consumer recycled organic cotton, and post-consumer recycled plastic. The cuttings from organic cotton textile production are salvaged, shredded and turn back into soft cotton fibres. Fibres made from locally recycled plastic bottles are added to obtain the cotton and polyester blend. The blended fibres are spun into fine yarn to make fabrics. The finished t-shirts are certified under the Global Recycle Standard (GRS)and the Organic Content Standard (OCS) by the Control Union Certifications.

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I screen print the majority of garments in my workshop in Bath. Water-based inks are used for screen printing, these water-based inks are much better for the environment than conventional inks which contain plastics. No harsh chemicals are needed to clean inks off the screens after a screen-printing run either - screens are simply washed with warm water. So far, the black inks used are Soil Association certified organic, but new inks have just been released onto the market so when i’ve used up what I have, i’ll be switching to organic inks for all colours.

When demand is high, I outsource some printing to a local, eco-friendly screen printing service who also use water-based inks.

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All packaging is 100% plastic free! Tags, packaging envelopes and all info postcards are made from recycled paper and can be recycled or composted. Larger packages are sent out in mailing bags made from plant cellulose; these are compostable too and can be placed in your food waste bin.